Gill Flukes and Ich simultaneously.... Bugger

(19 Posts)
PeneloPeePitstop Mon 14-Jan-13 22:54:00

Just after Christmas I bought four bala sharks to add to my community tank. This already had six green tiger barbs and six harlequin rasboras in it with a plec, it's an old mature tank that had dwindled somewhat so am rebuilding the numbers.

Anyway, last week, two and a half weeks after buying them, the sharks started gasping, gills going overtime, developing cloudy eye, swimming over to one side instead of straight and generally showing signs of distress.

All my parameters were perfect, ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate 10-20, pH 7.8.

Phoned fish shop and they told me to take them in. I did so. They weren't absolutely certain what was causing the symptoms but suspected gill flukes and commenced treatment with Sterazin. There were others calling in having experienced deaths from fish from the same batch.

Yesterday night I realise the barbs have developed these symptoms too so called fish shop back. Sharks recovering nicely on Sterazin so they recommend I commence treatment with it on the barbs so That's what I've done.

Only now the harlequins have Ich.

Can't treat that cos I'm using the Sterazin so fish shop recommend I reduce feeding but when I do feed give brine shrimp with garlic to boost their immune system until I can use Protozin in 12 days to kill that off too.

It's just argh. These treatments are going to kill my nitrifying bacteria off too aren't they? Just remembering why I was allowing the tank to run down in the first place whilst I sit here tearing my hair out...

EauRouge Tue 15-Jan-13 08:09:15

Bugger sad

Your bacteria should be fine with the waterlife treatments, you could keep a close eye on the readings just in case you are worried.

If you want to add any new fish, can you quarantine them next time or get the shop to do it for you? You don't need a permanent tank set up, a storage box will do as long as you have a mature filter in there.

Have you got any real plants? You could always keep the fish in the dark for a bit, that is meant to help with ich. The garlic should help them fight anything else off.

I know what you mean, it makes me laugh when people say keeping fish is cheap, low maintenance and relaxing grin Sharks are lovely fish, you must have a pretty big tank then!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoWittyName Tue 15-Jan-13 19:51:00

Garlic??? I am intrigued...and always happy to hear about things to help boost fishie immune systems!

EauRouge Tue 15-Jan-13 20:29:22

Garlic is meant to discourage parasites and boost immunity- similar health benefits to us! We share a lot of DNA with fish after all grin You can get food with it added.

Oh god, that's just reminded me of the clove of garlic thread in chat.

NoWittyName Tue 15-Jan-13 21:48:43

How do you administer it? A nice slice of garlic bread? grin

PeneloPeePitstop Wed 16-Jan-13 00:00:10

Bought frozen shrimps with garlic added - they loved it!

All so much healthier looking now, will do full 10 day treatment though then hopefully sharks can come home.

Yes, tank 5ft, lots of rocks and bogwood to hide behind. Didn't have a lot of luck with plants, barbs tended to shred them and sharks uproot them!

PeneloPeePitstop Wed 06-Feb-13 19:55:03

Update.... Sharks came home a week ago and all is fabulous on that score.

Had a horrific event this morning, though. Thought I'd add some colour to the aquarium with some cardinal tetras.

Only DH got some really small ones. Care to guess what happened? Yup the tiger barbs ripped two apart.

Rescued the other 6 and they had to spend an hour in a bucket whilst I set up a spare tank for them.

Whilst we're using old, cycled tank water I had to get a new filter so the cardinals are now fish-in-cycle. I know they're not great for this so hoping they survive....

Honestly why did I remember this as a relaxing hobby? grin

EauRouge Wed 06-Feb-13 21:02:31

Just take a bit of mature media from the filter in the 5ft tank, instantly cycled filter then smile The water won't have much good bacteria in it. Fingers crossed for the remaining cardinals!

NoWittyName Thu 07-Feb-13 15:12:55

Same happened when we added our cardinals to a tank with tiger barbs. Went back to shop (who had sold us all of the fish) and they refunded the cardinals, sold us some bigger cardinals and 2 more tiger barbs to 'spread the aggression'. All happy now. smile Number one was pretty affected by watching it though. sad

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 07-Feb-13 18:42:40

Cardinals doing quite well all things considered in the 26 litre tank. Doing 50% water changes using cycled water from big tank on a daily basis until filter properly seeded.

One I'm not sure will survive but I'm darned if it'll be the water quality that'll kill him!

Have decided to finish the 200 litre tank with more barbs now, less risk than trying with other tetras. Don't want to see that again.

As for the 26 litre I'm going to think about maybe a couple of shrimp to keep the cardinals company, or maybe a single pair of rams.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 18:45:56

I wouldn't rams in a 26 litre, it's way too small. They need space to get away from each other, anything smaller than about 100 litres is too small for rams really. 26 litres is a bit small for any fish really.

The water isn't 'cycled'. Water does not cycle. It is the filter that cycles. If you take a bit of sponge or bioballs from the big filter and put it in the small one then that will help.

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 07-Feb-13 18:50:33

Oh I know, Eau, waiting for bacteria to grow through the brand new filter is what I meant, so it can cycle itself. Have already put media in there. In the meantime I'm water changing using water that has been filtered by mature media.

Interesting you say that about the rams. It was local fish shop that recommended them. Not that I'm adding anything new until the filter is mature, perhaps may just expand to 10 cardinals and a couple of shrimp then...

Was thinking of a betta but was told that because cardinals are red/blue the betta may attack them and I don't want any more of that!

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 19:04:20

Two rams would kill each other pretty quickly in a 26 litre sad I wouldn't listen to a word your local shop says if they recommended them! Interestingly, the RSPCA recommends a minimum of 45 litres for any fish. 26 litres is certainly too small for 10 cardinals.

Bettas can be unpredictable and tetras can be nippy, so yes, they are not a great combination.

PeneloPeePitstop Fri 08-Feb-13 14:51:10

Out of interest... How am I going to be able to tell when the filter is coping for itself?

Still doing 50% daily water changes with the 'old' tank water, parameters Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5, filter as been seeded with old media for 48 hours now too.

Parameters in the 26 litre tank Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 60, so the nitrate seems to be spiking. Not sure why?

EauRouge Fri 08-Feb-13 19:06:09

Your niitrate in the old tank is only 5ppm? Wow, your tap water nitrAte must be close to zero, lucky you smile

If the nitrAte in the small tank is high then it must mean that the ammonia level was high- whether that's produced entirely by the fish or food it's hard to say. Have you been monitoring the levels? How have they changed over the last couple of days.

Since the ammonia and nitrIte is zero then you've probably got enough bacteria in the filter already. I'd keep an eye on it over the next few days anyway just to be sure.

PeneloPeePitstop Fri 08-Feb-13 19:54:03

I'm doing daily tests of all 3.

Could it be that DH dropped a fair bit of gunk out of old filter in new tank when seeding filter?

Yes, nitrate here is between 0 and 5, v lucky smile plus I'm very up on water changes with big tank.

PeneloPeePitstop Fri 08-Feb-13 19:55:33

Sorry, ammonia and nitrite have consistently been zero.

Someone has worried me now, on a fishy forum, saying I'm dramatically over stocked already shock

EauRouge Fri 08-Feb-13 20:10:43

Well, you are overstocked technically because 26 litres isn't big enough for any fish. 6 cardinals would need at least 60 litres. I'm guessing it's a temporary solution though so it will be manageable for a couple of weeks maybe.

Could have been the filter gunk, yes. You'll likely have to do 3 or 4 water changes a week until you can get them into something bigger.

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